MC: There’s always one person that you don’t want to lose to – absolutely. I mean there are a lot of people you don’t want to lose to! But for me to lose to Julie? No big deal. You still want to win, but you’re happy for that person. But there are a lot of people, and Chrissie’s certainly at the forefront of that. We’re not friends – we’re competitors. We don’t spend time outside of training together. So yeah, she’s always in the back of my mind. I’m the type of person who tries to take away negative thoughts from my life, so I try to not think about her as much as possible. I try to block her from my mind, because I don’t think that my thinking about her is helping me at all. I know that I need to get faster on the bike, I know that I want to get faster on the run, and I know I’ve got other improvements to make across all three. But you can’t help it – it’s human nature to have that thought or that person in your mind at certain sessions. I definitely use a little bit of that when I’m out running – the thought of being in Kona and in that moment, running against her or different scenarios I play out in my mind as to what might happen in the race. But for the most part, I try not to think about her. I don’t follow her on twitter, we’re not friends on Facebook, she doesn’t exist other than once I get to the start line. Because it is an individual sport. You need to get from A to B as quickly as possible, and it doesn’t really matter what’s going on around you. Well, that’s how you try to race anyway.
PNF: Do some of the parameters that Chrissie’s set – run splits, bike splits – do you and Siri look at that and plan accordingly? If she’s run 2:50, do you think you need to plan your training to do better than that? Or is it just about: We need to take the next step for Mirinda and just make her go faster one step at a time?
MC: I watch all the results in Ironman racing across the world, and I see what people are doing. There are certain races, Roth’s obviously one of them, where times are fast.
MC: Always. And they’re faster every year. So I don’t put as much weight into a race like that. Obviously you look at it and think: Wow, she’s running fast. But let’s look at what Chrissie’s done in Kona. I’m going to race her in Kona, and she’s never gone faster than X-Y-Z. In fact in my second ironman, my first place last year was a lot faster than she went her second year. And she’s done ten ironman races; I’ve done three. So you see those results, and if you don’t pull yourself out of that wow factor, you can be written off right then. You may as well not go. Kona’s a whole different ball game.
PNF: It is a whole different ball game. You can wipe the results of the year clean when you go there. I think that you either have a gift there or you don’t have it. It happens for some people, and it always happens consistently for them. And you have some of the greatest athletes in the world go there, and it just never happens for them. Ever. Certain people have the gift there and are blessed with it – and you certainly are, obviously – which is awesome. Because it just wipes everything else that other people have done during the year. You go there and can just go: OK, here we go. Sub five-hour bike rides are not the norm in Kona. The same thing for the run. And the swim times are pretty much the same as they’ve always been.